Wednesday, February 15, 2012

1860-1869 News Articles

1860-1869 News Articles Building the New Capitol at Albany, New York.

January 26, 1865, New-York Tribune, Page 8, Column 2
Senate..Albany, Jan. 25, 1865
For a new Capitol.

February 14, 1865, New York Times, BOARD OF SUPERVISORS.; The State Authorities Requested to Accept the New County Court-house for a State Capitol.
This board met at 2 P.M. yesterday, the President, Mr. TWEED, in the chair.
Mr. TWEED offered a preamble and resolution to the effect that whereas it is in contemplation to remove the State capital from its present location; and whereas, this city is recognized as the metropolis of the State, and whereas the new County Court-house is well adapted for the purposes of a State capitol:
Resolved, That the State authorities be requested to accept the Court-house for the purposes of a capitol, and to make any suggestions for its alteration that may appear advisable.
The resolution was adopted unanimously, and was immediately signed by the Mayor.
On a requisition being presented from the City Judge for certain articles of furniture, Mr. ELY said he would like to know what had become of the furniture and valuable law library used by the late City Judge; and he moved that the Committee on Criminal Courts and Police be directed to inquire what had become of the library and furniture in Question, but before a vote could be taken on the motion, several members left the chamber, and the board being left without a quorum, adjourned without date.

February 27, 1865, New York Times, THE STREETS OF NEW-YORK--A NEW CAPITOL.
-- In putting forward the claims of New-York for the proposed new Capitol buildings, the Common Council neglected to present the recommendation of general cleanliness. Mr. Inspector BOOLE supplied the omission in his testimony before the Investigating Committee, on Saturday. He said, what every resident of ordinary intelligence knows tolerably well, that "there has been no street-cleaning since the 24th of December, 1864." A few more marble palaces among the fast-accumulating hills of dirt would improve the existing variety of our street-adornments wonderfully.

March 27, 1865, The World: New York, Page 7, Column 5,
Albany wants the new Capitol to be commenced this year, and, through Hon. C. B. Cochrane, asks half a million dollars to start the work. The House, last night, by a considerable majority, voted down an appropriation, but the vote was reconsidered, and the question may come up again at any moment. The opposition is very stubborn, and has so far been led by Wood, of Syracuse, whose main argument is, that extraordinary expenses of the kind proposed should not be made at a time when there is such a drain upon the State treasury. The reply is, that the present building is a disgrace to the state, and a positive nuisance, which any respectable board of health would unanimously abate ; that yearly appropriations of moderate amounts would not be felt, and, in short, that further delay is a violation of faith with the Albany authorities who have purchased the site and presented it to the State. There is a bare possibility that some appropriation may be put through.

Albany is, in some respects, much to blame for the exciting opposition. Its best hotel can only be patronized by millionaires, while the rest are small, and, with an exception or two, very inconvinient. In consequence, most members are obliged to hide themselves away in boarding-houses, or engage rooms from benevolent ladles to sleep in, while they live in dining saloons whose charges would excite the admiration of Delmonico. Yet, as Albany is to remain the capital, let the building be erected. The present structure is a disgrace, and should be used only so long as it may be necessary to get the new one ready. With it some enterprising men might put up a good hotel, whose prices should not approach the swindling figure.

June 2, 1865, The World: New-York, Page 2, Column 4,
The people of Albany respond at once to the request of the people of the State, and are preparing a beautiful site for the new Capitol. That Albany, and only that city, would be chosen for this good fortune, this correspondence avowed as its belief, while other cities seemed about to grasp the prize—and yet it is settled to be at Albany; not from any popularity of the place, for, in their hearts, the Legislature wanted to decide to go to the metropolis at once; but the act of giving up all the property the state already owned, and to sanction such a thrice-gilt chapter in architecture as the casting of such contracts before the city would have been, was too far, too much; and Albany's choice, reluctantly, was made a fixed fact.

The first step was to do just what was done with the old Capitol-- to go into partnership with the corporation of Albany. Then, as now, the building was to owe something of its existence to both state and city; which was wrong in 1796, and is wrong in 1865; for the state will pay tremendous interest on all it wins out of any locality. The state could best afford to do all its work itself.

But in the shape of a gift of the land, the municipal authorities have quite rapidly done, and are in the act of doing, their duty. The famous Congress Hall block, so famous in all the collateral history of the capital, is the selected, and indeed the indispensable, property. This, and the estate in the rear, is the selected, and all that square bounded by Eagle, State, Hawk, and Washington streets, is the location of the new Capitol—whose beginning we see, but the close of whose "construction account" it shall not be for many a long year to behold.

As it is decreed that a new Capitol is to be built, it would be a folly to construct any other than such an one as will, by its convenience and its beauty, be a perpetual favorite of the people—repaying their eyes the expenditure of their pockets---a fair business transaction.

The old Capitol originally cost $115,000. It is only facetious to mention this sum in view of the certain expenditure on the new edifice.

The buildings now known as Congress Hall were, a few years since, only in a section devoted to the purposes of a hotel. The necessities of the increasing business, and the energies and enterprise of Mr. Mitchell, have from time to time absorbed the dwellings of Messrs. Gregory, Benedict, and Wing.

I doubt if the new Capitol, whose marble may occupy this place, will in its record furnish any scene more interesting than that which was witnessed just here upon an August day in 1843, when John Quincy Adams, standing on the steps of the house of the venerable Matthew Gregory, addressed the citizens of Albany, and told them, in such felicity of language, such result of wisdom, as belonged only to that greatest of our statesmen, his judgment of the grandeur of New-York. It was a proud hour for Albany. Its people were declaring by their welcome that they anticipated the plaudit that history would utter to this grand old men.

In the political horizon the clouds, not large but dark, were even then gathering, and when Mr. Adams declared himself the unchangeable friend of the right of Americans to ask their government whatever of public duty they believed that government should perform for them, the summer day was vital in the cheering of the crowd.

Of all the private and public festivity that has made itself heard and felt in Congress Hall, the chronicles would be as varied and as voluminous as the record of the Nights at Ambrose's, which have made their mark so deeply In literature. I have seen a quick and hurried gathering at two in the morning —short, lively speech—in voices of a most unfeigned feeling—with a look as of men whose labor had been of the heart, when after the wearying, vexing vicissitudes and cares, and watchfulness and conflict of a day—such a day!—a good and true man—a gentleman—had found his victory as United States senator. It was a midnight hour when the fervor did not make itself visible in Albany alone, As men made congratulations near the Capitol, so did men exult in New-York.

But some in their good hearted zeal went beyond others. "You take it very coolly," said the telegraph messenger, as he watched the effect on Hamilton Fish of the news he was conveying to him, at this depth of the night. "When I told it to Mr Greeley, he continued, "he jumped over the stove-pipe."

There is a narrative of wit and brilliant incident which distinguished Congress Hall when it was managed by that genial and remarkable man, Leverett Cruttenden, and this narrative no one could write half so well as could Mr. Weed.

My recollections of it are of the era of Mr. Landon and Mr. Mitchell, and it has seen in that time, so much of kind and pleasant and dignified social life, that its history will long outlive its demolition. Great public measures and private schemes have been taken thence to the capitol, as men go to the post-office for a stamp to their envelopes—an indisputable formality, but, as Toney Lumpkin says, the inside of the letter is the cream of the correspondence.

The evening of the 19th February, 1852, saw that superb party given by the Eleven Ladies. There were at Congress Hall that winter a charming society, and one which brought to it a pleasant attention from the hospitalities of families in Albany. These Eleven ladies determined that it was their duty to return these courtesies by opening the great hall of the hotel to a brilliant festival, and their wish found full accomplishment. The scene was long remembered. The hostesses of the evening provided in the metropolis and in other places over elegant homes themselves. They brought to their duties of the evening an accustomed grace, and in all that could be gathered for an evening's cultured festal hours this was distinguished.

We cannot see Congress Hall depart, if the fates will it to go out of existence, without some genial thought of the glad hours that in various forms has moulded Time to us. It has its chapter of the serious, of the playful, of the wealthy, the witty and the wise, and its memories shall be thine of comment far and wide, when we shall be told that its timber and its mortar have been scattered as a ruin.

I do not know when the existence of Congress Hall as a delightful home for the traveler shall cease. For many a year it has given the welcome that Shenstone thought of all we receive was warmest, but whenever the exit takes place, let men believe that a friend has left our accustomed life.

Albany has grown larger and richer far beyond its older day, but its hotels have gradually concentrated in the elegance and extent of the few what was once found in the many. Not a great cycle of years has gone since the two mansion houses of Mr. Rockwell and Mr. Skinner made a very gateway of comfort for North Market street (Broadway), and he had no right to say that he had known what the hospitalities of a host could be till he had been at the Eagle Tavern. These may seem to. be only Albany reminiscences, but as homes for winter weeks, as resting places while on route for Saratoga, they were as familiar as the sunlight to the New-Yorker. So it fairly belongs to our columns to say a kind word of farewell to Congress Hall. SENTINEL.

January 5, 1866, The World: New York, Page 4, Column 6, 
The State Legislature. [Excerpt]
Even yet Albany has not settled its preliminary gift towards the new Capitol. Its city authorities unwisely quarrel over that which they should have been the first to make definite. They pile the costly fees of adroit counsel upon our expenditure, which, in the end, they will be sure to concede. Mr. Learned's lots have a great value because they are necessary for the location of a new Capitol —just as the gorge at Little Falls is a precious and intensely valuable valley because it is where it must be used as a highway. The civic authorities of Albany have disputed about a shadow when a great and real substance of value was before them.

Of all the new State officers that to-day take their places, none deserve better welcome than the new Attorney General, Mr. Martindale. Always a gentleman, an earnest, devoted friend of Henry Clay often semi-ostracised for his independence of opinion, for daring to pursue an honorable course, when some mean and narrow one was laid out for him, he will do honor to the place whose annals have the illustrious names of Talcott, and Van Buren, and Hoffman, and Hall.

March 14, 1866, New York Times, 
FROM THE STATE CAPITAL.; OUR ALBANY LETTER. Debate on the New Capitol Bill--Speeches by Messrs. Cochrane and D. P. Wood -- A Charge of Fraud, [extract]
The bill appropriating $500,000, to enable Commissioners, to be appointed by the Governor, to commence building a new Capitol, has occupied much of to-day's session in the House. It was supported in an able speech by Mr. Cochrane, of Albany, who exhausted all arguments against the inconveniences and defects of the old building, and the reasons which impel the people of Albany to ask for a new edifice more in keeping with the power, wealth and importance of the Empire State.

D. P. Wood, of Onondaga, replied with much earnestness and ability, arguing that taxation had already reached an unprecedented figure, and that the present was an exceedingly inopportune time to ask for a new Capitol. He argued that it was only sought to commit the State to the project by making an appropriation, however small, in order that it might be urged hereafter that the work had been commenced and must be gone through with. He estimated that, including the amount of town and county obligations for payment of bounties, which would, with interest, reach over thirteen millions to be raised this year, the annual tax for 1866, State and local, would amount to the enormous sum of $24,600,000. Was any tax ever before imposed upon the people of this State calling for twenty-four millions in a single year? Was this the time to build a new Capitol? Would an individual build a new house with an immense debt hanging over him? Mr. Wood further charged that a base fraud was perpetrated in the passage of the bill last year. As that bill passed the House, it simply located the new Capitol in Albany, but made no appropriation whatever. When it got into the Senate, however, by some manipulation, it contained another section, which the House never acted on, making an appropriation of $10,000. Mr. W. showed by the journals of the two houses that his charge was correct.

Progress was finally reported on the bill, which has been made the special order for next week, Wednesday. Had the vote been taken to-day, the Capitol Bill would have been defeated by a large majority. Such, however, was the condition of affairs last year, until a wonderful change occurred during the last few days of the session. Possibly a similar change may yet be brought about by the Albanians who are wonderfully clamorous for the bill, and who, it is charged, have raised the "sinews of war" to put it through.

February 14, 1866, The Sun, Page 1, Column 3,
The Governor sent in a message communicating the action of the Albany Common Council in complying with the act of last winter relative to the erection of a new Capitol, and recommending early appropriations towards carrying out the provisions of the law.

March 14, 1866, New-York Tribune, Page 5, Column 3,
The Subject Assigned for March 21.
To-day the Assembly has been occupied in Committee of the whole on the New Capital bill, which had been made the special order by a previous resolution. Speaker Tremain called Mr. Stiles to the Chair, and Mr. Cochrane led off in a magnificent speech in favor of the measure. His effort was elaborate, polished, and showed a high degree of aesthetic culture on the part of the speaker. He began by stating that the good-faith of the State was pledged to this project by the passage of the Act last year, agreeing that if the City of Albany would deed to the State the Congress Hall property, the Governor should appoint a Commission to erect a new Capitol. Albany had fulfilled her part of the contract; the Legislature was now called on to carry out the promise of this law by making an appropriation to build the palatial edifice on the site toward which the city had contributed $200,000.

Mr. Cochrane recalled some very interesting historical reminiscences concerning the present Capitol, in which he informed the House that it was erected in 1806, and its dimensions were 115 feet front by 90 feet deep, and that the number of Senators 32. I may remark here that the number of Senators still remains the same, while the popular branch of the Legislature has only gained 28 members. It may also be stated here in parenthesis, that the diagram of the Assembly Chamber last issued, shows that there are on the floor two members' upholstered chairs, for which there aare no occupants.

Mr. Cochrane was touchingly eloquent on the old and endearing associations clustering around the present Capitol, and of the voices of the statesmen that has rung out loud and full in its legislative halls, but were now hushed forever. You correspondent expected to hear him crown this climax by exclaiming that he would always stick by this proud old edifice while its solid walls stood firm; let others do as they may, he would not desert this historic pile for any modern palace, but, treading it alone, if he must, would exclaim:

"I feel like one who treads alone
Some banquet hall deserted,
Whose lights are fled, whose garlands dead,
And all but me departed."

The orator, however, disregarded the logical conclusion of his eloquence, took a sudden shy, and if the Capitol had been an Eastern bazar-house he could not have abused it worse. He denounced it as a pestt-house, a sort of Pandora box of corruption, disease and death. It was unseemly, ugly, small, a stench, a disgrace and nuisance. He then went into a brilliant disquisition on architectural beauty, and ventured the proposition that "beauty promotes everywhere prosperity and wealth." It seems to me that Greece and Rome, in the ruins which hardly suggest their former greatness, rather throw doubt upon the soundness of this statement, and some poet has said of Italy that she had "the fatal gift of beauty."

Mr. Cochrane's assertion that "Albany is the natural, political and historic center of the State," is not as true as in times past, and is only seen clearly by the inhabitants of that sluggish and torpid city.

At the close of Mr. Cochrane's effort, Mr. D.P. Wood made a solid, logical and convincing speech against the policy of building a new Capitol. He admitted that at this time the location of this edifice, when built, would be Albany, but that it would not be erected when the State taxes, including local bounties, would be annually $24,600,000, exclusive of what we were paying to the National Government. He stated that a new Capitol, built after the model in the State Library, would cost $10,000,000, and this to the immense burden of the public debt would be an unjustifiable extravagance which the people would not for a moment tolerate. Mr. Wood also demonstrated from reading from the Senate and Assembly journals of last session that in the Capitol bill passed at that time there was an entire section smuggled into the act which neither House ever saw or heard read. This unauthorized section which appropriated $10,000 to commence the erection of a new Capitol was illegal, and no money could be taken from the Treasury by virtue of this fraudulent section. Mr. Wood's opposition to this measure was mainly the financial one, but he refuted the assertion made by Mr. Cochrane that it was so uncomfortable, inadequate or poisonous as to be wholly unft for the purposes for which it was intended.

Mr. J. L. Parker moved that the Committee report progress on the bill, which was carried, and its consideration was made the special order for next Wednesday evening.

No other business of special moment was transacted in either House.

March 15, 1866, New-York Tribune, Page 8, Column 1,
From Our Special Correspondent.
ALBANY, March 14, 1866.
Mr. D. P. WOOD dealt the New Capitol bill a very damaging blow yesterday. I have heard his speech characterized as the most effective that has been delivered in the Asembly this Winter, and it is conceded that if the vote had been taken on the question immediately after Mr. Wood took his seat, the project would have been defeated by an overwhelming majority. But the Albanians are all becoming lobbyists, and will do their prettiest to secure the appropriation asked for. I am apprehensive they are prepared to employ money if they think it can be made serviceable. It is understood they used a large amount to carry the bill they abtained last Winter, and should they now resort to the same means, it is not impossible they may succeed. Thus far, there has been no money used here---the Legislature is not debauched. But there is no evidence that it may not be. It may yet exchange its present good name for a very bad one. It may yet become a stench in the nostrils of the people as did the Legislature of 1860. But this we have to say: if there are members that propose to put themselves in the market, they should not be in a hurry. Let these Albanians pay. If $40,000 were expended to obtain an appropriation of $10,000 (which got into the act of 1865 without the knowledge of the Legislature); they will shell out liberally for half a million. But wo to Albany if she uses the money! Wo to those members of the Legislature who can be induced to change their votes for greenbacks! If it can be shown that the money is employed to pass the bill, beyond doubt it will be the duty of the Governor to veto it.

After all, this is the people's business. If they are willing the State taxes shall be increased to the extent of $500,000 a year, they will quietly acquiesce in the passage of this bill; otherwise they will remonstrate.

March 15, 1866, New-York Tribune, Page 4, Column 4
Certain active and unscrupulous property holders in Albany lobbied through our last infamous Legislature a bill providing for the erection of a new Capitol in that city. The cash cost of their business operation was $13,000; cheap enough; but the ruling spirits of that Legislature had sold themselves so many times that there was no wear and tear of either conscience or character to be considered, and they concluded that official corruption ought to be cheaper when taken wholesale. A bill is now before the present Legislature appropriating $500,000 to commence the work, at a time when labor and materials are fifty per cent. above natural prices, and when our people are sweating under a load of taxation heavier than was ever borne by so many people since the taxing decree of Caesar Augustus.

We protest against one dollar being approprapriatad to this object this year, or at any time until the people shall have had a chance to vote on the future location of the Capital. If they vote for Albany, we will consider when and what sort of Capitol to build. In our judgment, a large majority would prefer another location and we think the voice of the people should be heard.

March 15, 1866, The New York Sun, Page 2, Column 2,
The New Capitol Building at Albany.
The discussion in the Legislature upon the erection of a new Capitol building at Albany, is a subject of great interest to the people of the Empire State, who have for many years been convinced that some suitable building should replace the miserable apology now used as the Capitol of the first State in the Union. When the Legislature first considered the question of erecting a new building, various plans and models were submitted by different architects; and there is now on exhibition a number of these miniature representations of what the new Capitol will be, provided the Legislature adopt any one of the number now presented for inspection. At the present time only one complete model appears to embrace all those features which we think should be introduced into a public building designed for the occupation of our Legislative Assemblies and other State officers. As we believe the Empire State can afford to erect one of the handsomest structures---this side of the Capitol in Washington---we do not think the people will object to being taxed for as perfect a building, for such purposes, as our architects and builders are skillful enough to plan and erect.

The model of REMBRANDT LOCKWOOD, Esq., an architect of this city, combines grandeur and beauty with usefulness. According to the plan this building will cover an area of 170,714 square feet---having four fronts. The principle front will be 312 feet wide, the walls being carried up in the Roman Corinthian style of architecture to a height of over one hundred feet, and these ornamented with a cornice exceedingly rich and beautiful. An immense dome rises two hundred feet higher, being 317 feet above the pavement, and from its summit will be seen an extensive view of the country around Albany. The dimensions of this dome are said to be only a few feet smaller than those of the dome on the Church of St. Peter in Rome, but unlike the latter, this dome will appear self supported in the air by immense figures, or caryatides designed in harmony with other pieces of statuary, placed in niches and pedestals around the building.

The design of Mr. LOCKWOOD has received the unqualified praise of all who have visited it, and the indications are that it will be adopted, many of the members of the Legislature and the State Government having expressed themselves favorably. We presume the work of building will not be long delayed by the discussions that are going on in the Legislature, for as soon as our law makers understand that the people of this State desire a Capitol building that shall be worthy of our position in the Union, they will not hesitate to take the final legislative action necessary to produce such a structure.

March 16, 1866, The World, Page 5, Column 5,
The House in Committee of the Whole considered the bill making an appropriation of $500,000 for the erection of a new capitol.

Mr. COCHRANE said that it was provided by the act passed last year that whenever the citizens of Albany should secure to the State a title to the Congress Hall property, the government should appoint three capitol commissioners for the erection of a new capitol. The citizens of Albany with great promptitude had secured this property at an expense of $200,000, and deeds of the same are now in possession of the State.

He said that none of the public works of the State had been stopped in consequence of the high prices of materials and labor, or of burdensome taxation then why should the construction of a new Capitol be retarded for a similar reason? All admitted its necessity. The present Capitol was insufficient to meet the wants of the State, and it was the duty of the representatives of the people to provide a new and better one. He referred to the history of this locality and the statesmen whose names were connected with the records of the present Capitol. The Governor had recommended the early commencement of the work, and Mr. Cochrane appealed to the House to make the necessary appropriation.

Mr. D. P. WOOD conceded all the arguments made by the gentleman from Albany (Cochrane) in favor of the location of the new capitol. He would admit that Albany was the proper location for the structure, and nothing could take it away but a narrow-minded policy towards herself and the people's representatives'. The time was when the location of the Capitol was an open question, but our railroad system had annihiliated time and space, and the main objections to Albany as the Capital of the State were now removed. It was true that Syracuse had offered to construct a new edifice and present the same to the State free of expense, but when one year ago he made such an offer as the Representative of Syracuse, he did not anticipate its acceptance. He would concede that Albany was to be in future as in the past, the capital of the State. He opposed the appropriation at the time on account of the immense taxes imposed on the people. The erection of a new capitol could be postponed until the State was out of debt, and it could be constructed at far less expense than at present. He referred to the rate of taxation now imposed on the people, and should oppose every measure calculated to increase the burthens of the people. He charged there was a fraud committed in the passage of the capitol bill last winter; an appropriation of ten thousand dollars had been improperly inserted in it. The present building was good enough, and would answer all purposes until the people we re relieved from excessive taxation.

Mr. WEED defended the House of 1865, against the charge of fraud in the passage of the capitol bill. If there was an error connected, the fault was in the record and not with the record. He remembered distinctly the circumstances under which the appropriation was inserted in the bill.

Mr. D. P. WOOD said he understood that the impression prevailed, from something he had said, that he charged fraud in the passage of the bill upon the citizens of Albany.
Mr. COCHRANE—Clearly by implication.
Mr. D. P. WOOD—I disclaim any such intention. The bill was then made the special order for one week from next Wednesday.

March 16, 1866, New York Times,
FROM THE STATE CAPITAL.; OUR ALBANY LETTER. The New Capitol Bill--An Exciting Session thereon-- The Niagara Frontier Police Bill--Mr. J. L. Parker Attempts to Read Mr. Littlejohn Out of the Party--Spirited Speeches and a General Sensation--A Tremendous Grist ot Elevated Railway Bills out of the Hopper-Great Excitement in the House, &c., &c.
The bill making appropriations to commence building a new capitol continues to be an excapitol subject of legislation here. The Albanians display a wonderful zeal in putting the measure through, and members are importuned everywhere by all sorts of people, in the House, at their boarding places, wherever they go, to vote for the bill.

March 22, 1866, New-York Tribune, Page 5, Column 4,
The Capitol bill comes up again this evening. The general impression is that it cannot pass, but we shall see.

March 23, 1866, The Sun, Page 1, Column 3,
The New Capitol bill was then taken up.
Mr. Cochrane moved to postpone its further consideration until Monday evening. After debate, the motion was amended so as to make the bill the special order for Friday evening, which was adopted--92 to 8 votes

March 23, 1866, New-York Tribune, Page 4, Column 6,
Debate on the Capitol Bill.
The Capitol Bill the Special Order for this Evening.
In the Assembly, the bill to provide for the erection of a new Capitol came up as the special order. Mr. Palmer of Dutchess, offered a substitute, which locates the Capitol at Albany, and appropriates $100,000 toward the erection of same, but the Commission shall not enter into a contract for a new Capitol for one year after the passage of the act, nor expend more than $25,000 during that period. The question was then debated for about four hours, pro and con. Mr. Wilbur of Dutchess made the opening speech, which was for the new Capitol, but whether for the original or amended bill we could not very well determine. Messrs. Maurice, Weed, Cochrane, Littlejohn and Creamer also spoke on the same side, but advanced no new argument in favor of the measure as far as we were able to discover. They told us that the present Capitol is about the poorest in the country, while we ought to have the best; that the State is rich and prosperous, and that the people would not grudge the "paltry pittance" necessary to give us first-class public building. These gentlemen were replied to by Messrs. Hoskins, Pitts, Tuthill, Parker and Buckman. The former spoke with great clearness and force; Pitts was eloquent and pointed; Tuthill plain and practical; and Parker argumentative. All of these gentlemen made good speeches. While admitting that the present Capitol is not such a building as they would like, they insisted that the present is not the proper time to engage in the work of erecting a new one, The old Capitol is as good as it has been at any time during the last ten years, better than it was before it was enlarged. It will answer every purpose until the people get rid of some of their local indebtedness. We ought to do nothing toward building a new State House until the banks resume specie payment, until a paper dollar will buy a gold dollar, until, in short, both State and people understand where they stand financially.

Mr. Cochrane undertook to make it appear that the present Legislature was pledged by the law of last year to make the appropriation asked for, at least, to make some appropriation. The City of Albany had purchased the Congress Hall property on the strength of what had been done last Winter, and conveyed it to the State in the expectation that it would he improved. This was shown by Mr. Pitts and others to be an entire misapprehension. The Albanians said a year ago: We wish an act passed providing for a new Capitol here, and then we will buy the block on which the Capitol stands. We want it now because we can get it cheaper than at any future period. Give us a statute so that we can purchase the property, and then it can lie until the State is ready to build." Such were the assurances of the Albany people one year ago. They should keep their words, or be prepared to take the consequences of disregarding them.

During the discussion the Hon. D. P. Wood was questioned by the speaker and other in a manner that might have terrified any gentleman possessing less coolness and nerve and less knowledge of his subject than the honorable gentleman from Onodaga. But Mr. Wood was not troubled in the least. His answers were so straight-forward, clear and frank that even his questioners were quite willing to abandon the employment. Mr. Wood deserves the thanks of the taxpayers of the State. The speech he delivered when the bill was first up in the house showed conclusively that the people will have all they can do to keep their present engagements, and should not contract new ones. If the bill shall be defeated, to him, more than to any other single individual, will the credit be due.

March 23, 1866, Albany Evening Journal, Page 2, Editorial,
SPEECH OF MR. HOSKINS ON THE PROPOSED NEW CAPITOL.—We publish today, on our fourth page, Hon. Mr. HOSKINS speech, in the Assembly, against the bill making an appropriation for the proposed new Capitol. It is a compact embodiment of all the arguments against the bill as originally proposed. Since it was delivered, the sum asked for has been cut down to $250,000, and such guards proposed in the prosecution of the work, as should render it unobjectionable to the most earnest advocate of economy.

March 23, 1866, Albany Evening Journal, Page 4, A NEW CAPITOL.
Remarks of Mr. Hoskins, of Wyoming, Against the Bill Appropriating $500,000 for a New Capitol.
In ASSEMBLY — March 21, I864.
Mr. Chairman:—I do not arise to enter into an extended discussion of the measure now under consideration, but rather to give some of the reasons for the record I am about to make upon this question. This bill proposes to appropriate $500,000 from the Treasury of this State for the purpose of erecting a new Capitol at the city of Albany. This sum must be raised by a direct tax upon the taxable property of the whole State, for the most sanguine supporter of this measure cannot but know that the Treasury is utterly unable to respond to the many demands which must be made upon it, without resort to direct taxation.

By reference to the report of the Comptroller it will be seen that the tax for the present year will be sufficiently onerous, without the appropriation of a single dollar beyond the absolute requirements of the Government. By that report we learn that the funded debt of the State on the 30th day of September, 1865, was $25,475,539.86. The amount of certificates issued on account of the bounty loan, under the law of last year, was, on the 18th of December,1865, $25,556,000, making a total of State indebtedness on the 10th day of December last of $51,041,537.86. And yet, sir, in the face and with a full knowledge of fearful debt, we are asked to come forward and make this appropriation. I shall not stop to inquire whether at some future and more appropriate time, the building of a new Capitol is not an object worthy the attention of the Legislature, or whether the city of Albany is not the most suitable place for its erection. It is sufficient for me to know that there is not now any great or pressing necessity for commencing this work, and consequently for this appropriation.

Sir, this building, while it is not the most imposing structure in the world, is as capable of accommodating the Legislature which annually assembles within its walls, as it has been for the last twenty -five years. In many respects it is far more convenient than it was five years ago. The present arrangement of the desks and chairs in this Chamber is tolerably satisfactory, and members are enabled to come here and transact the business of their constituents, with an amount of inconvenience which plenty of gentlemen in every district will willingly undergo if the present members consent to it. The Senate Chamber is a pleasant and well ventilated room, large enough for the free and unobstructed transaction of business. That this Capitol, in all its appointments, is what might be wished, or that in all respects it fully comports with the breadth, power, and commercial importance of this great Commonwealth, I presume will not be claimed by any gentleman upon this floor.

But, sir, this is not the time to embark in a new enterprise, contemplating a vast expenditure from the public treasury. The present deplorable condition of the finances of the state admonish us to delay every work of public improvement not absolutely and impatively demanded, until our already overburdened tax payers shall have liquidated at least some portion of this enormous debt, for the full payment of which the credit and faith of the State is solemnly pledged. As has been already shown, the State is now in debt over $25,000,000 for certificates issued to counties to reimburse them for bounties paid volunteers to put down and crush out the late rebellion. We have just passed through the terrible trials of a four year civil war, the like and magnitude of which is not recorded on the page of history. Our fathers, our sons and brothers have been slain by thousands, and their bodies now sleep in their last resting place on the battle fields of Antietam, Gettysburg, and in the plains before Richmond. To place those gallant, patriotic and noble men, who have so effectively, and we trust forever, crushed the most gigantic and wicked rebellion of which the world ever knew, on a footing with other States, this large debt has been entailed upon us.

Sir, in my opinion, it is the duty of the people of this State to first redeem this debt, before entering upon any new measure looking to the increase of the public burdens, unless some better reason can be assigned than the mere convenience of Legislators. I know the friends of this measure talk about the wealth, the glory, the power and future destiny of this great Commonwealth; that this old and ancient structure does not become the standing and dignity of a great State like ours, and urge these as considerations why we should now make this appropriation for building a new Capitol.

Sir, this line of argument does not affect me. Nor shall it in any way influence my vote upon this question. My own judgment indicates to me that this matter can wait, and good sound public policy demands that the burdens of the people shall not be increased.

In addition to this large State indebtedness, many towns and counties have now outstanding against them large amounts paid to volunteers as local bounties, which must be met within the present year. In many localities, from one to five per cent, on all the taxable property must be paid to meet these liabilities. Taxes for the last two or three years have been very oppressive, and are likely to so continue for years yet to come. The present year a five mill tax must be laid, to meet the ordinary wants of the Government and provide for the payment of the interest on the public debt. This does not include the town, county or school tax, which in many localities will double and quadruple the State tax. By further reference to the report of the Comptroller, w learn that our taxes are increasing, year after year, in a rapid and alarming manner. In 1861, at the breaking out of the Rebellion, the total tax of the State, including town, county and school, was $20,403,276.19, and in1865 the total was $45,061,440.62. In the same portionate increase, the tax for the present year, including the interest on the bounty debt, cannot fall below $50,000,000. And yet in view of all these facts and figures, we are urged by strong and powerful appeals from my distinguished friend from Albany, Mr. Cochrane, to join him in making this appropriation—no appropriation which is but an entering wedge to the expenditure of at least $10,000,000. Every gentlemen on this floor well knows that $500,000 is a mere drop in the bucket, and will hardly prepare the ground ready for the structure. Make this appropriation this year, and the next Legislature will be called upon for at least $3,000,000. And upon what theory can it be refused? The cry, and I admit with good reasons, will then be made that the State has entered upon this work, and that no backward step can be taken, that the faith of the State is pledged to the early completion of the Capitol building, that nothing further can be done without funds, and that the appropriation must be made.

No, gentlemen, I tell you, the only true and safe course to pursue is for this Legislature to emphatically, but respectfully, refuse to appropriate a single dollar for this or kindred enterprises, not absolutely demanded by some great public necessity, which cannot be postponed.

Our brave and noble slain have given their lives that the Nation might live. The treasure of the land has been poured out like water, that we might have a country redeemed, purified and restored; and now, while the people of the whole State are groaning under the heavy burdens imposed upon them by the war, shall we commit the suicidal policy of adding to those burdens by the passage of this bill? Sir, this is not the demand of our constituents; this is not the duty with which we have been charged; and every member upon this floor will be held to a strict account ability for his action on this question. And here let me enquire, who has asked for the passage of this bill? Have there been petitions presented to this body praying for its enactment? Have there been public meetings held, calling upon this Legislature to provide means to build a costly and stately edifice in place of the building we now occupy? If so, they have escaped my attention. On the contrary, the public press, outside this immediate locality, so far as any expression has been given, has spoken almost unanimously against this proposed appropriation; and I fully believe that a very large majority of this Assembly are fully convinced that their constituents are opposed to the passage of any bill inflicting upon them a direct tax of one-half mill on the dollar, to aid in a work not now demanded by public necessity. Our constituents, if I read public sentiment aright, have sent us here to devise ways and means to liquidate and pay outstanding obligations, but not to increase them. A rigid rule should be adopted and enforced, whereby no appropriations should be made for local or general purposes, which can be delayed without endangering the public welfare. In no other way can the present embarrassed condition of the treasury find relief, and the State be placed upon a firm financial basis. That this measure has some merit, I shall deny; but I do deny that there is any great, imperative necessity existing why this work should be commenced at this time. On the contrary, I see many, and to my mind, conclusive reasons why it should be indefinitely postponed.

I am aware that we shall be met at this point with the assertion that these are narrow views to entertain touching a question affecting the whole State. In reply to this I have only to say, go with me to the farmer of small means in any of the counties in the western part of the State, to the manufacturer in Southern or Central New York, to the mechanic of St. Lawrence, Franklin or Clinton, and what do you hear from them? One universal response, make no appropriations from the public treasury beyond what is absolutely required for the support of government. Practice the strictest economy in all the departments of State, and in all things let your effort be to relieve the people from the burdens of oppressive taxation, under which they are now suffering. But, Sir, there is another reason why I am opposed to the passage of this bill. The amount named is quite too small to be of any practical use—$500,000 will hardly lay the corner stone. And yet if any thing is to be done, contracts will have to be made, which, from the very nature of the case, must be made greatly to the disadvantage of the State. Labor is now at its highest point, and materials of all kinds are at least fifty percent higher than before the war. In making contracts for any portion of this work, of course the present price of labor and materials would enter largely into the account. We are drifting slowly but surely back to our normal condition, and soon, we trust, the paper currency of to-day will be worth in gold the amount named on its face, when it will cost only about half to build a Capitol that it will now. In my judgment, I sound policy will dictate that the work should be delayed until we can enter upon it with a determination to prosecute it to its early completion. l am, therefore oppopsed to any appropriation at this time, as being detrimental to the best interests of the State.

Sir, if a business man largely in debt, with creditors pressing upon him, who, in order to sustain himself, is obliges to pay large sums for interest upon borrowed capitol, should enter upon new schemes involving large expenditures, he would justly be considered by all wise and prudent men, as a very unsafe and dangerous financier. Indeed, he would be regarded as on the very verge of bankruptcy.

Should Governments be less careful and prudent in their business transactions than individuals? Should they enter upon new work, contemplating present and future expenditures, from an empty and exhausted Treasury, with no way to replenish, except by a further draft upon the industry of the people in the shape of a direct tax? I, for one, cannot vote for a single dollar in aid of this measure, because I beieve it to be an in opportune time, and not demanded by any great pressing necessity, and because my constituents are quite content with the Capitol as it is, until the State is in a better condition financially than we find her to-day. Were we comparatively free from debt, and relieved from excessive taxation, the case would present a very different aspect; but when we all remember that it is now almost impossible for the man of small income to respond to the calls of the tax-gatherer, it becomes us as legislators to pause before we impose further obligations upon him.

Mr. Chairman, I have thus briefly stated some of the reasons why in my judgment this bill ought not become a law. To my mind they are conclusive and satisfactory, and after a careful consideration of the whole subject, I believe that the conclusion I have arrived at, to vote against this appropriation, will meet with the approval of my constituents, and also with every tax-payer in the State outside this immediate locality.

March 24, 1866, New-York Tribune, Page 6, Column 6,
New-York Legislature
The special order was the New Capitol bill. The House, in Committee of the Whole, considered the bill making appropriation therefor. Discussion continued until 11 o'clock, when progress was reported. The Speaker stated that if the House refused to allow to the Committee to sit again the bill would be lost. The question was then taken and the House refused by a vote of 49 Yeas to 55 Nays. Mr. Lyons moved to reconsider, which was carried by 58 Yeas against 45 Nays. Adjourned.

April 3, 1866, The Sun, Page 1, Column 4,
Mr. Pitts moved to take from the table the new Capitol bill with a view to move a substitute confirming the location of the new Capitol at Albany without making any appropriation. The motion was agreed to and the bill referred to the Committee on Ways and Means with instructions to amend.

April 3, 1866, The World: New York, Page 5, Column 4,
Mr. PITTS moved to take from the table the new Capitol bill, with a view to move a substitute continuing the location of the new Capitol at Albany, without making any appropriation. The motion was agreed to and the bill referred to the Committee on Ways and Means, with instructions to so amend.

July 11, 1866, Albany Evening Journal, Page 1, Column 6,
From the N. Y. Evening Post The New Capitol of this State.

The legislature of this State having fixed the location of the Capitol at Albany, the "New Capitol Commissioners," Messrs. Hamilton Harris, John V. L. Pruyn and O. B. Latham, have issued a circular containing instructions and details for architects who may prepare plans and designs for the proposed structure. The circular is accompanied by a map of the Capitol grounds and places surrounding them, prepared by Mr. R. H. Bingham, city surveyor of Albany.

The accommodations which are required in the New Capitol are as follows:

Executive Department—Five rooms for the Governor—one about twenty-two feet by thirty, a private room of about four hundred feet area, two rooms for his secretaries and clerks, each with about five hundred feet area, and an anteroom to each of about four hundred feet area. Four rooms for the Adjutant General, each of about five hundred feet area, with small anteroom attached, and two of about four hundred feet area each. The other members of the Governor's military staff will require six rooms of about four hundred feet area each, with small ante rooms. This department will require a record room, fire-proof, of about six hundred feet area, for books and papers.

The Senate.—The Senate chamber must contain suitable arrangements for a body of thirty-two members, with galleries for spectators, and a reporter's gallery. A room will also be required of about four hundred feet area for the president; a cloak-room for senators of about six hundred feet; a reception room for visitors of about five hundred feet, with a suitable ante room; a library of about six hundred feet, two rooms for the clerk of about four hundred and fifty feet each; a room for the post office of about four hundred feet two rooms, one for the Sergeant-at-Arms, and one for doorkeepers of about four hundred feet, with a document room of about the same size; two committee rooms of about six hundred square feet each, and eight of about four hundred; a record room; fire proof, of about five hundred feet area. The committee rooms and president's room to have recesses in the walls for book shelves.

The Assembly.—This chamber will have accomodations for one hundred and twenty-eight members, galleries for spectators, and a reporters' gallery. A room will be required for the Speaker; a cloak room for members; a reception room for visitors; a library; two rooms for the Clerk; a room for the post office; a room for the Sergeant-at-Arms; a room for Doorkeepers—most of whom are gentlemen of leisure; a document room, two eight hundred feet and fifteen four hundred foot committee rooms; a record room—all of about the same character as those of the Senate.

Court of Appeals.—The Court-room should contain about 2,000 feet, with a gallery and other suitable arrangements for reporters and visitors; a library of 800 feet area, and a consultation room of 600 feet, with an ante-room. There should be two rooms for the clerks of the court, and a record room, each 600 feet in area; also, a room of 400 feet for the officers of the court and the accommodation of counsol. Also one other court room is required, about 35 feet by 25, with an anteroom of 20 by 15.

Department of Public Instruction.—Three rooms are required for the Superintendent of Public Instruction—one of 600 and two of about 600 feet area, with an ante-room to one of them about 65 by 18.

Insurance Department.—This department will require one room of about 600 feet area, and two of 450 area each, one of them with an ante-room of about 15 by 18 feet.

The State Library.—It is desirable to keep the State Library in two separate apartments with one or more reading rooms attached to each. The law library will require room for about twenty-five thousand volumes; and the general library for seventy-five thousand. Requisite capacity is desired, by galleries or otherwise, to contain, the former fifty thousand and the latter one hundred and fifty thousand volumes.

A room of about five hundred feet area is wanted for the Regents of the University, in case the Constitutional Convention shall not do away with them; another for the Secretary; and another of about four hundred foot, for records, &.c; a packing-room and a room for duplicates, about four hundred feet area.

A range of about four rooms will be wanted in some retired part of the building for storing books and papers that will accumulate in the various departments. They should have each an area of about six hundred feet.

Suitable rooms will be required for the keeper of the Capitol, and for three assistants and watchmen; also storerooms for fuel and miscellaneous purposes.

The ground area of the proposed building gives a front of about 280 feet, a depth limited to 365 feet. The grounds are such as to render a sub-basement desirable. An inner court or quadragle is suggested. Special attention must be given to the best mode of ventilation, heating and lighting; any apparatus for the purpose which requires the use of steam power to be placed outside of the building in the reserved area of twenty-five feet, and extended under the sidewalk if necessary. Storerooms for fuel may be provided outside or in the main building. In addition to any other mode of heating that may be proposed, the system of open fire places is considered desirable.

The sad experience of the last quarter of a century, during which many members of the Legislature have been disabled and hurried to the grave by the pestilential atmosphere of the Chambers, appears to have fixed the Commissioners in the purpose to secure ventilation by the old-fashioned fire-place, till the discoveries of science shall have provided sure means of relief in other ways.

Among the suggestion's offered are the use of stone or iron for floors, groined arches and iron girders to hold the structure together, ample provision for water and gas, "hoists" to facilitate access to the upper stories, safes seven feet high by seven wide and four deep, for the Insurance Department, the offices of the clerks and the State Library, smaller safes for other rooms, written statements by each architect of his plans and designs, together with the building material to be employed, &c.

Drawings should be in outline only on white paper or card board, on a scale of one-tenth of an inch to the foot, with such internal views as the architects see fit to furnish. No colors should be used except to indicate materials of different kinds. Perspectives, if preferred, may be presented in color, and written descriptions may accompany drawings. An elevation of each of the fronts of the building should be given, and a prospective view showing the main front and the northern side of the building.

A premium of $2,500 will be awarded to the plan and design to which the Commissioners shall award the first place; and of $1,000 each to the two plans to which they award the second place. They reserve the right to purchase for $600 any set of plans having merit, but not entitled, in their judgment, to an award. They also reserve power to declare that none of them, or only one or more, are satisfactory; and to reduce or apportion between several parties any premium or premiums, as their merits may warrant. Rejected plans will be returned.

The legislature having made no appropriation for the work, it is left for future sessions to determine when it shall begin. It is estimated that about $500,000 annually will be required from the beginning till the completion of the undertaking; and that the aggregate will be about the same as the cost of building the Court House in this city.

No intelligent person will for a moment question the necessity of an early commencement of this work. The present accommodations are insufficient for the wants of the public service, and proper provisions should be made at as early a say as possible. Despite the insalubrity of the place and the defective accomodations for sojourners, the general sentiment appears to have fixed upon Albany as the most suitable point for the capital of the State. A metropolian city like New York seems to be considered as unsuitable; and only a minority favor removal to any western town. The legislature has accordingly accepted the situation, and what remains is to proceed to the work as soon as may be expedient.

July 17, 1866, New-York Tribune, Page 3, Column 1,
Office of "The New Capitol Commissioners."
Albany, July 16 1866.
at Albany, State of New York,---Architects are informed that Plans and Designs for a New Capitol at Albany will be received by the Commissioners, at their Office, until the 15th day of November next, at noon. A printed statement of instructions and details, and of the premiums offered, will be furnished at the Office of the Commissioners, on application, in person or by post.
JOHN V.L. PRUYN, Albany,
O. B. LATHAM, Seneca Falls,

July 19, 1866, New-York Tribune, Page 2, Column 6,

July 24, 1866, New-York Tribune, Page 2, Column 5,
Advertisement: State of New York Office of "The New Capitol Commissioners".
Plans and Designs for a New Capitol at Albany.--Architects are informed that Plans and Designs for a New Capitol at Albany will be received by the Commissioners, at their office, until the 15th day of November next, at noon. A printed statement of instructions and details, and of the premiums offered, will be furnished at the Office of the Commissioners, on application, in person or by post.
Hamilton Harris, Albany,
John V.L. Pruyn, Albany,
O.B. Latham, Senaca Falls,

August 16, 1866, New-York Tribune, Page 7, Column 4,
Advertisement for Plans and Designs.

February 8, 1867, New York Times, NEW-YORK.; AFFAIRS AT THE STATE CAPITAL. The Street-Opening Bill--New Capitol--New-York School Bill--
The citizens of Albany, who are nervously apprehensive as to the location of the new Capitol, are delighted to learn that the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means have resolved to recommend in the General Appropriation Bill, that the sum of $100,000 be appropriated toward the erection of a new Capitol Building in this city.

January 8, 1867, The World: New York, Page 4, Column 5,
Governor FENTON'S message devotes ten lines of nothings to the subject of the erection of the new Capitol at Albany. As ten million dollars are to be used in the construction, it might be expected that the finest building of the kind in the country, and one fit for the seat of government of such a State as NEW-YORK, would be the result. The Capitol at Nashville, confessedly the most pretentious outside of Washington, cost but two millions; yet such a course has been pursued as to bar the competition of all architects whose designs are worthy consideration.

The Commission to whom was entrusted the construction advertised last year for specifications, the highest price attached to which was only three thousand dollars, and no assurance was given that he whose design was accepted should be appointed the architect of the building. In this miserly attire the embryo capitol has gone a-begging among the principal architects of the country. They refuse to consider such an impecunious proposition.

The American Institute for architects, among whom are included some of the best in the country, and to whose members are attributable such structures as our recent Academy of Music, that in Philadelphia, Mr. STEWART'S residence, the buildings at Jerome Park, and all constructions whose reputation is national, have unanimously issued a circular to the effect that the terms offered by the Capitol Commission are such as no capable designer can afford to entertain. They state to Hon. HAMILTON HARRIS, the Chairman of the Commission:

According to the established custom of business in our time, a building worth three millions of dollars pays to the architect employed to design it at least a commission of three per cent., one third of which would be due when the design and specifications, upon which the cost can be estimated, are fully prepared. This would probably amount, in the case before us, to a sum of thirty thousand dollars.

As a result of this short-sighted policy, we understand that the Commission has received no plans commensurate with the purposes of the new Capitol, but are inundated with ambitious specifications from inferior architects. The enterprise of securing fit designs seems to have died before it was born, from the miserable penuriousness we have indicated.

If the Legislature has time to spare from the congenial and compatible duties of governing New-York City, reconstructing the South, and repealing the neutrality laws, it would be well could they shake some common sense into the Capitol Commission, and arouse them to the fact that the new building will require more breadth and expenditure in design than the construction of a candy store or the erection of a Freedmen's schoolhouse.

February 9, 1867, New-York Tribune, Page 5, Column 1,
The question of a new Capitol is now more than ever agitated, and those who favor the erection of a new building here have gained a slight advantage. The Committee on Ways and Means this morning reported in favor of Appropriating $100,000 toward the erection of a new building. Those who favor this new capitol are discouraged at this time sbout the small chance they have of obtaining a large sum sufficient to erect a magnificent edifice. They consequently are asking for it in small sums, as entering wedges, There is a good deal of opposition here against continuing the Capitol at Albany. Syracuse is the most formidable rival so far. The more money appropriated for the erection of a capitol here increases the chances of this place to be the permanent capitol; so that when the bill comes before the Committee on the Whole an interesting discussion may be expected.

February 11, 1867, New-York Tribune, Page 4,
The Commissioners appointed to make arrangements for the erection of a new Post-Office in this city have profited by the experience of the General Government in the matter of the proposed building for the War Department, and by the similar experience of the State of New-York in its attempts to get a design for the new Capitol at Albany. Both the Federal and the State authorities found that no architect of any ability or standing in his profession would so much as consider the terms of their advertisements, both of which, although differing in form, were identical in spirit, and were based on the assumption that our architects are not in such a condition, as respects employment or pay, that they can afford to reject any chance of adding a few hundred dollars to their meager incomes; and that they would be only too glad to compete, on any terms that might be offered them, for any prize, however small.

Although these gentlemen at Washington and Albany proved to be very much out in their calculation, it will not do to forget that the condition of architecture in this country has changed. Perhaps they could not be expected to know all that had been done in architecture within the last few years, nor could they be blamed for not being aware that the standards of the profession are much higher now than they were ten years ago, and that it contains a small but steadily increasing body of men whose attainments would be recognized as considerable even in older and more exacting communities. It takes time for growth in special directions, as in the arts, specially to make itself felt by these not interested in watching it; for the reason, among others, that by its very nature this growth is in itself imperceptibly slow, and works in by-ways, and deals with matters not directly related, or not seen to be so related, to our material life. In this matter of architecture, there are those who knew that our architects were growing, as individuals, and as a society, but perhaps many of us were as surprised as the Commissioners, at the evidence of the fact contained in the spirited and sensible protests of the architects against the action of those well-meaning but mistaken gentlemen.

Therefore, when we say that the Commissioners of the new Post Office have evidently learned something from the ill-success of the commissioners from the War Department office and the state Capitol, we do not mean to reflect upon these latter gentlemen, nor to intimate that they have shown less intelligence than the others, They simple made a serious mistake, for which there is great excuse in the condition of architecture, and the uncertain, ill-defined position of architects in this country. Until very recently architecture has been in a sort of epicene condition---being neither an honest craft like that of carpentry or masonry, nor yet a Fine Art; and our architects have been a kind of bastard builders, without the technical knowledge of those calling themselves such, or the learning, taste, and creative power that alone entitle them to a higher name and greater consideration. And, considering what Washington is, and what the public men of Washington have shown themselves to be, whenever they have been called upon to act with reference to Art; considering, also, what manner of men our legislators at Albany are, in education and culture, it was not to be expected that their action would be different. They took the view of the matter the general public took, and acted as they had been accustomed to act.

Nor should it be forgotten that the very appointment of a Commission for the new Post-Office is, in itself, a marked evidence of advance toward a proper appreciation of the respect due the Arts, and especially to Architecture, the mother of the Arts. Whenever, heretofore, the Government has thought a new Poet-Office necessary in any city of the Union, the War Department has instructed its architects to take a certain pattern which had been found a good, practical, working one, and either reduce or enlarge if to meet the needs of the smaller or larger city in which it was to be built. This having been done, the Department proceeded to buy a piece of land and put up a building, without troubling itself as to whether the citizens liked it or disliked it, whether it was convenient or inconvenient. The notion of appointing a Commission to treat with the architects, or of making any effort whatever to get a building that should be thoroughly planned and agreeable to look at, is one that never, till now, entered in the brain of the Department to conceive, and its action in the present case certainly marks an important change in its way of looking at the subject. For our part, we rejoice in this change, and wish it may be lasting, and be followed by other official bodies, State and Municipal. We owe to the appointment of a Commission our Central Park, a public work most thoroughly well considered in design, and carried out in every detail with conscientious care; we owe to the want of a Commission the new County Court-House in the rear of the City Hall, ugly in design and inadequate in plan, and built with such shameless squandering of the public money as to make it a disgrace to every one concerned with it.

Counting the Croton Aqueduct first, and the Central Park second, the Post-Office will be the third work in point of public importance undertaken for the benefit of the citizens of New-York. It is fortunate, therefore, that it is not to be touched or meddled with by the City Government, but is to be erected by the National Government, acting through a Committee composed of men of character and education. We may be reasonably sure that the action of these gentlemen will be as prudent, as thoughtful, and as liberal as that of those other honorable citizens who have had the Croton Aqueduct and the Central Park entrusted to their direction, and who have laid the whole community under perpetual obligation to them for the way in which they have performed their duties.

February 27, 1867, New-York Tribune, Page 5, Column 2,
An appropriation of $250,000 is desired to commence erection of a new Capitol. I do not myself believe it best to spend anything for this object at present; I would wait until the banks resume specie payment; I would wait until a dollar is worth a dollar---until it will buy a dollar's worth of materials and a dollar’s worth of work; though I am free to own the old Capitol is becoming a little unsightly; it is not sufficiently commodious, and the Assembly Chamber is considered a badly ventilated room by those who have occupied it; but it is as good as it has been any time in ten years, and I would make it do a few years longer.

March 15, 1867, New-York Tribune, Page 1, Column 5,
The bill appropriating $250,000 toward building a new Capitol occasioned a two hours' debate, especially on the amendment offered by Speaker Pitts that Congress Hall hotel property shall not be interfered with until after the adjournment of the Constitutional convention, provided said Convention was held this year. This is a hotel adjoining the present Capitol, which is patronized largely by members of the legislature, because of its close proximity to the place where their labors are performed, and the gentlemen who advocated it thought it would be of equal convenience to the members of the State Convention. The debate in the Committee promised to be so long that one of the friends of the amendment moved to report progress on the bill, which being carried, it was brought to the consideration of the House. Mr. Parker then moved to recommit the bill to the Committee on Ways and Means, with instructions to incorporate Mr. Pitt's amendments. On this motion, Daniel P. Wood, Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, bitterly assailed the bill, because it would burden the State with increased taxation. He said that his opposition to the measure arose from no sectional motives or ambition, but only because he was opposed to the expenditure at this time. He stated that one of the present Commission had given him the the statement that to build the foundation alone the sum of $796,700 would be required, at which rate it would cost from $10,000,000 to $15,000,000 to erect the building. Before a vote was taken on Mr. Parker's motion, Mr. Younglove moved an amendment that he Governor be empowered to appoint two additional Commissioners, but this was voted down, after which Mr. Parker's motion prevailed. The Committee on Ways and Means immediately reported in accordance with their instructions, and the bill was ordered to a third reading.

March 16, 1867, New York Times,
NEW-YORK.; AFFAIRS AT THE STATE CAPITAL. City Railroads, New Capitol, Harlem Railroad Cut--Excise Law--Constitutional Convention, [extract]
The New Capitol Bill had its third reading, and passed the Assembly without alteration. The amount appropriated, as a commencement of building only, is $250,000.

April 23, 1867, The World: New-York, Page 6, Column 2,
ALBANY. The bill appropriating two hundred and fifty thousand dollars for a new capitol building has passed both houses, with a provision that no part of the money appropriated shall be used until a plan of the building shall be selected and plans which will not require an expenditure of over four millions to carry out.

April 23, 1867, The World: New York, Page 5, Column 2, 
Four Millions for the New Capitol
Four millions of dollars for a new Capitol! There is a good time coming for the men who place wood and stone together in work of construction. The amount, wisely expended, will give State street's broad forehead such an ornament as was not even in the dreams of old chronicles.

Old people yet [ ] their lives on in quiet in this city, who recollect when bluff, hill, and desolate graveyard occupied this space and, in the days of their fathers, Fort Frederick scarcely looked at the [ ] beneath it. The watch and ward was over the small frontier city that crouched beneath it on the east. A decade of years will bring forth by the brain of design, by the hand of labor, a magnificent structure [ ] the reality of a new Capitol, there is something due to the tax-payers. Now within this noble sum, the gentlemen who have charge of the work, will, by talent and time, give the people a building of which the State may be proud. 

What an effect for good this will have on all the real estate in and around the Capitol. State, Washington, Hawk, High, Fayette, Elk streets, all these will hereafter be sought for costly structures and desirable houses; below Eagle for business, above Eagle for residence. That is the future destiny of Albany property. 

August 8, 1867, New-York Tribune, Page 4, Column 3,
There were made yesterday to the Constitutional Convention of our State several able and important reports on the Finances and Canals of New-York, calculated to fix attention even beyond her limits. Let us endeavor in brief to set forth the gist of the matter.

Those distinctively known as "the Canal men" of our State desire such amendment of the Constitution as will permit and secure an immediate enlargement of the Locks on our principal Canals, whereby their practical capacity will be increased, their traffic (it is held) augmented through the cheapening of frieghts, and the aggregate receipts of tolls consequently enlarged. Their views are set forth and commended in the minority report read by Mr. Alvord, from the Committee on Canals.

The antagonist debt-paying, tax-diminishing policy is commended at length in the majority report of Mr. S. E. Church, from the Committee on Finance, and the minority reports of Mr. Freeman Clark and others. Mr. Church would first pay our existing heavy debts, State and local, and, to that end, postpone for ten years the beginning of our proposed new Capitol, which is estimated to cost $4,000,000, but will really cost far more---at the current prices of materials and labor, probably Ten Millions. Having thus patiently and gradually paid off our debt and reduced the burdens of taxation, Mr. Church would build our new Capitol and enlarge our great Canals whenever we can do so from surplus Canal revenues, and thus without incurring debt or compelling additional taxation.

Mr. Clark takes the bull even more boldly by the horns. He denies that there is any necessity for a further enlargement of our Canals or their Locks, insisting that Canals have had their day, and, despite the conceded cheapness of their transportation, are being rapidly superseded by the more expeditious transit afforded by Railroads. He holds that the aggregate tunnage of our Canals has nearly or quite attained its maximum, so that money expended on their enlargement will be practically thrown away. Of course, he would not borrow any more, but rather pay what we already owe.

Mr. Hatch, on the other hand, foresees a scowboat millennium whereof the faintest streaks of dawn are just beginning to irradiate our horizon. He is not merely poetic; he is eloquent, rapt, "enthused," ecstatic, in view of the auroral glory which gladdens his vision. In his kaleidoscopic perception, the Great West is just beginning to be peopled, and to stop burning for fuel the bulk of her annual product of Corn and Wheat, in order to send it down our Canal to feed the crowded Millions of the seaboard and of Europe. Nay: the countless millions of Eastern Asia have just commenced a great Western migration, which is destined rapidly to people our waste places with a most skillful, industrious population, all eager to till our fields for two or three greenback shillings per day, and thus augment our products, our freights, and our tolls beyond all human conception.

"Visions of glory, spare my aching sight!"

Of course, Mr. Hatch holds that not to enlarge our Canals at once and to run into debt for that purpose, would be a marvel of improvidence and unthrift such as the Prodigal Son, in the heyday of his Wild-Oats sowing, never came within sight of.

We shall pass no hasty judgment on these radically diverse propositions, though our prinmary impulse is to go with the would-be debt-payers rather than those who would have us get out of debt by first going in several millions deeper. We have personally tried that way repeatedly, with very poor success. We incline not to lead the State further into it.

On one point, all the reports (unless our hearing of them has misled us) substantially agree. They would have the Convention ordain that the Canals shall never be sold or nor even leased. Why not? Suppose they could, under proper stipulations, be sold to-morrow on such terms as to pay off every dime of State Debt, and thus reduce our taxation by several mills on the dollar: do you think the people would not say Amen? If you do, just give them a chance to settle the question by a direct general vote!

September 4, 1867, Syracuse Daily Journal, Page 4, Column 5,
The Democratic State Central Committee, the Board of Regents of the University, and the new Capitol Commissioners had meetings in the city to-day. A suggestion to Mr. CURTIS, one of the "Regents," that, in view of the numerous petitions that that "antiquated concern" should cease to exist, this might be their farewell meeting, elicited the response that they did not, at any rate, mean to die without a struggle. The new Capitol Commissioners submitted to the Commissioners of the Land Office—the State officers—various plans for the building, from which, they are to select.

September 7, 1867, Albany Evening Times, Page 3, Column 1,
THE NEW CAPITOL BUILDING.—There was a meeting of the Land Commissioners at the State House yesterday, to take action upon the report of the Capitol Commissioners relative to the plan of the new Capitol building. The latter reported favorbly to the plan of Mr. Fuller, which embraces the central dome. The Land Commissioners, by a vote of three to two, rejected that plan. The Capitol Commissioners will meet again, to agree, if possible, upon another plan, to be presented to the Land Commissioners. Between the conflict of opinions, interests and tastes, it may prove a difficult matter to bring a majority of both Boards to an agreement upon any one plan. But it is believed that the final determination will soon be reached.

December 7, 1867, Albany Evening Journal, Page 2, Column 2,
The Capital Plans Approved -The Work to Commence Monday.
Governor FENTON, this morning, approved the plan for the New Capitol, prepared by Fuller and Gilman, under the supervision of the Capitol Commissioners, as adopted by the Commissioners of the Land Office. We understand that the work of excavation will begin on Monday, under the superintendence of JOHN BRIDGEFORD. The designation of Mr. Bridgeford to superintend the work, is a guarantee that it will be prosecuted with energy, economy and thoroughness. A New Capitol is now assured, and the comfortless and inadequate building which now passes as a Capitol will in a few years give place to a structure creditable to the emplre State, and sufficient for the accommodation of its officers.

February 4, 1868, The World, Page 5, Column 1,
The Board of Capitol Commissioners on the 13th of July, 1866, issued a paper of instructions and details to architects, in regard to plans and designs for a new Capitol, the competition plans prepared in accordance with these instructions to be forwarded to them by the 15th day of November of that year. In response to this call thirty-one designs, of a greater or less degree of merit, were received, and premiums, amounting in the aggregate to the sum of $5,500 were awarded by the Commissioners to the authors of seven of the best projects. No one of the plans presented at this time, however, appearing fully to meet the requisitions of the case, the Commissioners appointed Messrs. Gilman and Kendall, of New York, to prepare a new set of designs, under the more explicit directions of the Board; and Messrs. Fuller & Laver, of Albany, the authors of a plan which had already received one of the highest premiums in the competition, subsequently becoming associated with these gentlemen, the talent of both of these firms has since been employed in the production of the truly chaste and beautiful plan which has now been fully adopted by both Boards of Commissioners, and approved by the Governor, as required by the Act of the Legislature. Fully agreeing throughout in their views, as to the style and details proper to be adopted, the architects have worked together throughout, "without vanity and without jealousy," for the production of a design which should reflect credit upon the authorities of the State, and stand to posterity as a fair memorial of the advancement of our community in architectural knowledge and taste.

The building is to stand on the square of land bounded by Washington avenue and State street on the north and south, and by Eagle and Hawk streets on the east and west sides respectively. Including within its area the site of the present Capitol and State Library buildings, already the property of the State, the rest of the land required, embracing the site of the well-known Congress Hall Hotel, has been purchased by the City of Albany and presented to the State, in order to fill out the requirements of a thoroughly ample and imposing locality.

The building shown in the published photograph measures 280 feet front on the Park, fronting on Eagle street, by 380 feet in depth, the cupola rising to the height of 320 feet. It is designed in the Renaissance, or modern French style of architecture, a style which will at once be recognized by those conversant with the subject as the prevailing mode of modern Europe, and one which the taste of the present Emperor of France in particular, aided by the numerous and able staff of government architects, has for some years so largely illustrated in most of the renowned modern works of the French capital. Derived originally from Italian sources, and partially from the late edifices of the Venetian republic, this beautiful style has now been so successfully naturalized in other countries as to have become, in fact, the prevailing manner for most of those secular edifices of a dignified and permanent character which the wants of our times have called forth. It holds this prominent place in the public regard, too, as a style which supplies the greatest amount of convenience attainable in our modern buildings, combined with the most dignified and appropriate elegance in their adornment. In the present instance, from the great variety of outline which it admits of, and from the multiplicity of parts required, it will be found to be a style admirably suited to the wants and uses of a great public building.

As the design which forms the subject of this description differs so materially from that of many of the ordinary and common-place structures which have hitherto been erected for similar purposes in this country, there are several points in its architecture to which we would especially direct the attention of our readers.

First; The angle pavilions, and the walls or curtains which connect them, and thus together make up the lines of advancing and retreating masses of the exterior composition. These are treated with a general adherence to the style of the pavilions of the new Louvre,of the Hotel de Ville, of Paris, and of the elegant Hall, or Maison de Commerce, recently erected in the city of Lyons. Without any servile adherence to the imitation of any particular example, the architects have endeavored to compose these features in the bold and effective spirit which marks these most admired specimens of modern civil architecture.

Second. The terrace which forms the broad approach to the east or principal front. The general idea of this uncommon feature—a feature happily rendered necessary in the present instance, in order to overcome the natural inequalities of the grade—has been suggested by the celebrated terrace, of the Villa Borghese, at Rome, and of the church of St. Vincent de Paul, at Paris. Of itself, it forms an item of striking architectural detail, nowhere as yet attempted, we believe, on such a grand scale, at least in America.

Third. The double flights of steps which lead from the plateau of the terrace up to the level of the first or entrance floor. The basement story being entered by the three broad arches underneath, it is intended that the more general access to the superior floors shall be by the grand staircases which are shown so conspicuously on either side of the portion in the drawing. It is intended, in working out the details of these striking features, to reproduce, on a much larger scale, the admired "Giant's Staircase," in the court of the Palazzo Ducale, at Venice—an object of art with which the skill of the engraver and photographer have made even the untraveled, in some degree, familiar. As a well-known example of architectural art, it will be highly satisfactory to embody a similar specimen in imperishable stone, and with features of increased dignity and effect, in our own Capitol.

Fourth. The Loggia, or hall of entrance, on the principal floor, occupying an area of 48x112 feet, and 25 feet in height. It is proposed, in the execution of this truly noble vestibule, to repeat the effect of the grand Doric order of San Gallo, as displayed in the renowned vestibule of the Palazzo Farness at Rome, one of the finest and most effective pieces of composition bequeated to us by the great masters of Italian art.

Fifth. The two grand staircases which communicate directly with the Loggia above described, opening to the right and left at the rear, or west end of the same, and forming the principal means of communication with the second or principal story.

The position chosen for the introduction of these staircases, with their broad double flights and spacious landings, and the ample area allotted to them on the plan, will enable the designers to make this feature one of the most marked and striking in the entire edifice. There are a very few, if any, staircases now existing in the country, if we except only those in the Capitol at Washington and in the new City Hall at Boston, in which any attempt appears to have been made to secure the solid and imposing effect which this feature of a fine building may legitimately be made to give. The grand staircases of some of the European buildings are among the most noted and truly beautiful examples of architectural taste and skill in the whole catalogue of art. Those of the Barberini Palace at Rome, of the Ducal Palace at Venice, and of the Louvre at Paris, are well-known to every intelligent traveler, while that of the Gaserta, or Royal Palace at Naples, may be said, in some respects, particularly those of breadth and simplicity of effect, to surpass them all. It is intended, in carrying out the plan and details of these main staircases of the Capitol, to take advantage of the fine space and conspicuous position afforded on the plan to retain the effect of this last named example of the Caserta, and, as far as possible, to secure the acknowledged beauty of so admired an example.

Sixth.—The interior Cortille, or open court in the centre of the block of building, measuring 94x126 feet, and intended for the supply of light and air to all the principal apartments, corridors and passages in the centre of the building. In a structure of this extent and dignity the introduction of this novel feature is perfectly legitimate, and capable of being made to produce the most pleasing effects. The interior courts of the Farnesse and the Borghese Palaces, both of which are given by Fergusson as examples of the highest architectural and scenic design, are inferior to the proposed court of the Capitol, both in size and careful harmonizing of the parts with the details of the orders observed in the rest of the building. When viewed, as it always must be, through the five large arched openings which face the spectator on entering the principal vestibule above described, and taken in connection with the rich composition of the opposite wall of the west of Hawk street wing, it is believed that few more striking or effective features of architectural composition could be devised, to give attractiveness, as well as real utility, to what is, in all probability, by far the most important building which the State of New York will be called upon, during the existence of the present generation at least, to erect.

Seventh.—The lofty central tower or cupola, shown so conspicuously in the exterior view in the photographs which have been issued. This is more strictly an original composition, and seems needed to give a pyramidal and aspiring outline to the mass, and by its lofty attitude to confer an unmistakable dignity upon the varied composition which it crowns, rising to the heighfc of about 320 feet to the figure at the summit. There can be little doubt that such a cupola, when erected, will at once command a higher degree of admiration from all architectural amateurs and students of art, not more from its great size than from its masterly outline and the beautiful composition of its separate parts. It is certainly far preferable to secure the effect of such a towering mass in combination with the other portions of the design than to resort to the repetition of the dome—a feature which has already been so oft repeated in buildings for similar purposes, in this country, as to suggest a decided wish for a change in the character of this most prominent and crowning portion of the design.

The other parts of the building have been carefully brought by its architects into harmony with the leading points to which allusion has now been made, and are designed in strict keeping and unity of style with them throughout. The accommodation and arrangements for the interior have been minutely conformed to the instructions issued by the Commissioners, as before referred to, and it may be sufficient to say that each and every one of the requisitions set forth in their circular are believed to have been abundantly met, and provided for in the building. On the first or entrance floor are the accommodations for the Executive department, the Governor with his Secretaries being on the left of the main hall, and the Adjutant General, and military staff occupying the spacious suite of rooms on the right, as well as a portion of the basement, connected by a private staircase with the main suite of this important and hardly worked branch of the State official bureaus. Extra fire-proof record-rooms are provided in connection with each department. The Court of Appeals, with rooms for Judges, lobbies, retiring-rooms, library, clerks and records, occupy the rear of this floor, and are intended to be mainly entered from Hawk street in term time, although freely communicating with all the other entrances of the building. The Senate and Assembly rooms are on the second or principal floor, and with their cloak-rooms, retiring-rooms, libraries, reception rooms, post-office, and offices for President, Sergeant-at-arms and other officials, occupy the whole of this floor, except the front suite of halls extending across the east or principal front, which is appropriated to a noble and imposing library-room for the rapidly increasing library of the State. This elegant suite of apartments will measure about 52x270 feet, and will naturally prove one of the greatest attractions of the building to strangers visiting the city at all seasons of the year. Ample provision is also made for the law library, for the Board of Regents, for packing and store-rooms required by the business of the two houses, and for a spacious and comfortable refreshment-room for the use of the members. About fifty committee rooms, of various capacity, and each with an ante-room attached, are provided on the various floors of the building. It is worthy of notice, that so skillfully has the design and adaptation of each of the requisitions been studied by the architects, that in nearly every important part of the building the area of accommodation provided will be found slightly to exceed rather than fall short of the amount called for in the carefully weighed circular of the Commissioners.

In regard to the intended cost of this fine structure it is hoped that no mistaken impressions may prevail in the public mind, arising either out of loose declamation in the Constitutional Convention or in the totally unwarranted innuendos of journals supposed to be unfavorable to the project. It is the firm intention, alike of the Commissioners and the architects, that the outlay shall be strictly limited to the sum of four millions of dollars, as originally proposed by the Assembly ; and so long as either of the parties above named continue to have any voice in or control over the matter it is their inflexible intention to adhere strictly to this limit. Over any changes that may be forced upon them in the future by the Legislature they cannot, of course, be expected to have any control. But the sad example of the New York Court House, costing already a sum nearly as large as that which has been expended upon the whole work of the Central Park, will, we hope, be sufficient to warn our future law-givers of the impolicy of constant changes in the responsible heads who are entrusted with the care of such vast and important interests. Carried out to its completion under the same, or nearly the same auspices, and competent supervision under which it has been commenced, the new Capitol of the State of New York may be solidly and honestly finished for a comparatively moderate and reasonable sum ; and the noble design which has been adopted once carried into successful execution, we shall have at least one public building in our Empire State that will take its place among the most beautiful and appropriate of the noted public buildings of the world.

In connection with Messrs. Fuller & Laver, of Albany, and Messrs. Gilman & Kendall, of New York, who have united in the production of the design, it is expected that Messrs. Nichols & Brown, of Albany, will also be associated, as resident assistant architects. Thoroughly competent and suitable mechanical superintendents will also supervise the daily progress of the works under the direction of the architects and Commissioners, with a view to the utmost diligence, thoroughness and economy of construction throughout. The photograph which has been published is taken from the original water-color drawing of the architects, by Messrs. Haines & Elliot, photographers, of Albany

February 18, 1868, The World: New York, 
The Disputed Canal Contracts—The New Capitol—The Recess Question-What is the matter. [FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.]
ALBANY, February 14.--
''The obligation of contracts" is almost a phrase of civilization, without which it does not exist; but fraud in contracts is that which governments cannot tolerate, though this State has probably been as lenient as the most merciful could desire. This action of the Senate establishes the fact that the patience of the State is at last exhausted. I thought it was a wise amendment which was moved, that the State should be compensated for the damages occasioned by default of the contractors.

In brief the case is this, the State seeks to annul certain contracts as obtained by fraud—allowing to the contractors such payment, however, as they have earned by work done, and this offset by such damages as have been incurred by individuals in consequence of the default or neglect of the contractor.

A communication from one of the new Capitol Commissioners opens this question of building. Mr. Latham, who objects to what Mr. Pruyn and Mr. Harris have done, will, of course, find reply. Fortunately all political questions are outside of this, as the majority of the commission are of utterly differing political opinion. This new Capitol question is in a brief compass. If large appropriations are asked for, it is in danger. The people are easily alarmed. Gentle progress is the surest, and it is much the best way to take time and secure confidence.

It seems a gigantic work to relieve the canals from their mismanagement, nor will it ever be done, no matter what volumes of laws and investigations are made, while Canal Commissioners are chosen chiefly for their political importance. When experienced canal investigators and engineers are selected, it will be for the first time discovered by the people how they have defrauded themselves of good servants for a long, long series of years.

February 18, 1868, The World: New York, Page 7, Column 1,
A communication from one of the new Capitol Commissioners opens this question of building. Mr. Latham, who objects to what Mr. Pruyn and Mr. Harris have done, will, of course, find reply. Fortunately all political questions are outside of this, as the majority of the commission are of utterly differing political opinion. This new Capitol question is in a brief compass. If large appropriations are asked for, it is in danger. The people are easily alarmed. Gentle progress is the surest, and it is much the best way to take time and secure confidence.

March 12, 1868, New York Times, NEW-YORK.; The Cross-Town Railroads-The New Capitol Investigation.
The Committees of the Legislature embraced the interregnum of yesterday to do some active work. The Senate Railroad Committee considered, and resolved to report the cross-town railroads. It is understood that the report was unanimous, and will be made this morning, if the Senate is in session, which is doubtful.


The most interesting, spicy and decidedly attractive hearing of the session, was held in the Senate Chamber last evening before the Select Committee of the Senate, consisting of Messrs. O'Donnell, Folger, Tweed, Murphy and Humphrey, appointed to inquire into the conduct and purposes of the Commissioners appointed to build a new Capitol. Mr. Humphrey was not present, being engaged on another Committee (to investigate the Erie Railroad.) but the inquiry was proceeded with by the balance of the Committee. The Committee was raised originally on the memorial of Mr. Latham, on of the Commissioners, who preferred charges, in which he virtually alleged that he had been made a nonentity in the Board; that Messrs. Harris and Pruyn had ruled him out, decided upon a plan, employed an architect, made a contract for the erection of a building, or rather preparing the foundation of a building, and all by and without his advice and consent. He considered the "without" a vital point, and so appealed to the Senate for redress, and thus came about the appointment of a select committee, and the hearing of yesterday.

The argument in behalf of Mr. Latham was opened by Mr. William H. Towne, of Boston, who, in proof of the position of his client that he had been ruled out of the Board of Capitol Commissioners, read the following resolutions, which were adopted Nov. 18, 1867:

Resolved, That upon the approval of the plans for a new Capitol, by His Excellency, the Governor, heretofore approved by the New Capitol and Land Commissioners respectively, the authors of the said plan, Messrs. Fuller and Gilman, be authorized to proceed until otherwise ordered by this Board, to perfect the details of said plans, and to prepare the specifications for the building; their compensation for such services to be fixed and determined by the Board.

Resolved, That upon the approval of the plans by His Excellency the Governor, John Bridgeford, of Albany, be authorized to proceed to procure the westerly front of the new Capitol grounds, (above the buildings on State-street,) to be excavated, with reference to the proper grades for the foundation walls of the building, under the supervision of Messrs. Fuller & Gilman, or either of them, the whole subject to the control of the Commissioners, and no work to be done unless with the approval of the Chairman of the Board, under whose direction the same is hereby placed---the compensation of all the said parties to be fixed hereafter by the Board.

I give the italics as their own. In his argument the counsel of Mr. Latham contended that these two resolves placed the work in the hands of Mr. Bridgeford, who was to go on and do it, subject to such remuneration as the Board might fix at some future time, and that Mr. Bridgeford was to be controlled by the Board. At a subsequent meeting of the Board, (Dec. 24, 1867,) the following additional resolution was adopted:

Resolved, That the members of the Board who reside in Albany, (Messrs. Harris and Pruyn,) be an Executive Committee, with full power in the recess of the Board to do all such matters and things as may be necessary in the prosecution of the work intrusted to the Board, and which may properly be done and transacted by a committee; but no contract for supplies or materials shall at any time be made by said Committee, which shall involve an expenditure exceeding $10,000, unless the same be subject to the approval of the Board.

By this last resolve Mr. Latham thinks he was ruled out entirely. Mr. Bridgeford was to do everything subject to the Board, and two of the members constituted themselves a committee to control Mr. Bridgeford.

Having thus laid down, and, as he claimed, established, the premise that his client. Mr. Latham, had been ruled out of all control, Mr. Towne proceeded to suggest the reasons which had governed the action of the Board, and the influences which had prevailed in producing the results which he alleged had been attained. In doing this, Mr. Towne quoted liberally, and, as he said, literally, from a number of letters written by Mr. Gilman, who, it will be noticed, is the architect intrusted with commencing the new Capitol. I give a few extracts from these letters. He is writing to his partner under the date of

May 11, 1867.
I have had a letter from Senator ---- this morning, from which it appears that he wrote at once to Pruyn, without waiting to be asked. He says, "I have written Pruyn the strongest letter possible. If that don't do the work, nothing will."

Early in June (the letter is without date) Mr. Gilman again writes:

"Saw all three Commissioners this morning. Thirty plans submitted. Not one worth a d--n, except Paul Schulze and Fuller, of Albany; both pretty good. One of the Commissioners evidently in with Schulze---for money, I think. He is a red-headed Yankee mason, and his name is Latham. He is a personal friend of the Governor. Pruyn carries Harris with him, who (Harris) is an Albany lawyer. How, Pruyn's idea is to pay these two, and give US the JOB."

"-------- is here. Come up this afternoon, and bring all the papers." 

"-------- has fixed matters as well as possible. You need not come." 


"This action is best explained by the inclosed note of Senator -----, who again came to Albany to help us. I think we are ahead on the general issue, when it comes, as Secretary Barlow and Engineer Goodsell vote for us right through. Martindale, Attorney-General, dined with us at Mr. ------- yesterday, and having been much worked upon by his brother-in-law, the day before, and by Mr. and Mrs. ---------, at dinner, came to me after dinner and said his views were "softening," and that he did hope that in some form or other, or under some design, I should have to do with the building of the Capitol."

LETTER, DATED NOV. 21, 1867.
"Pruyn has gone to Washington to take his seat in Congress, and Harris is all right and agreeable. Pruyn will be home in about two or three weeks. Meanwhile Latham holds us in check. I hope to see him ere long disappear down a trap-door amid blue and red flame, and accompanied by sulphurous stenches, like Hirizog in the 'Black Crook'---his equal in plotting against innocence and virtue."

That last was a hard hit at Latham, who doubtless was but illy satisfied with things as they existed. But a letter dated March 4, 1868, from Mr. Gilman, (as follows,) seems to explain, and why and wherefore:

"I think our income this year, if we can kill off that damned Latham, at Albany (and I think we can this session) will amount to $60,000, in which case," &c., &c.

The speaker closed here, and then Messrs. Latham and Werner followed on the same side, after which the Committee adjourned until another day, (not named,) when the other side will be heard.

Resolved, That upon the approval of the plans by His Excellency the Governor, John Bridgeford, of Albany, be authorized to proceed to procure the westerly front of the new Capitol grounds, (above the buildings on State-street,) to be excavated, with reference to the proper grades for the foundation walls of the building, under the supervision of Messrs. Fuller & Gilman, or either of them, the whole subject to the control of the Commissioners, and no work to be done unless with the approval of the Chairman of the Board, under whose direction the same is hereby placed---the compensation of all the said parties to be fixed hereafter by the Board.

I give the italics as their own. In his argument the counsel of Mr. Latham contended that these two resolves placed the work in the hands of Mr. Bridgeford, who was to go on and do it, subject to such remuneration as the Board might fix at some future time, and that Mr. Bridgeford was to be controlled by the Board. At a subsequent meeting of the Board, (Dec. 24, 1867,) the following additional resolution was adopted:

Resolved, That the members of the Board who reside in Albany, (Messrs. Harris and Pruyn,) be an Executive Committee, with full power in the recess of the Board to do all such matters and things as may be necessary in the prosecution of the work intrusted to the Board, and which may properly be done and transacted by a committee; but no contract for supplies or materials shall at any time be made by said Committee, which shall involve an expenditure exceeding $10,000, unless the same be subject to the approval of the Board.

By this last resolve Mr. Latham thinks he was ruled out entirely. Mr. Bridgeford was to do everything subject to the Board, and two of the members constituted themselves a committee to control Mr. Bridgeford.

Having thus laid down, and, as he claimed, established, the premise that his client. Mr. Latham, had been ruled out of all control, Mr. Towne proceeded to suggest the reasons which had governed the action of the Board, and the influences which had prevailed in producing the results which he alleged had been attained. In doing this, Mr. Towne quoted liberally, and, as he said, literally, from a number of letters written by Mr. Gilman, who, it will be noticed, is the architect intrusted with commencing the new Capitol. I give a few extracts from these letters. He is writing to his partner under the date of

May 11, 1867.
I have had a letter from Senator ---- this morning, from which it appears that he wrote at once to Pruyn, without waiting to be asked. He says, "I have written Pruyn the strongest letter possible. If that don't do the work, nothing will."

Early in June (the letter is without date) Mr. Gilman again writes:

"Saw all three Commissioners this morning. Thirty plans submitted. Not one worth a d--n, except Paul Schulze and Fuller, of Albany; both pretty good. One of the Commissioners evidently in with Schulze---for money, I think. He is a red-headed Yankee mason, and his name is Latham. He is a personal friend of the Governor. Pruyn carries Harris with him, who (Harris) is an Albany lawyer. How, Pruyn's idea is to pay these two, and give US the JOB."

"-------- is here. Come up this afternoon, and bring all the papers." 

"-------- has fixed matters as well as possible. You need not come." 


"This action is best explained by the inclosed note of Senator -----, who again came to Albany to help us. I think we are ahead on the general issue, when it comes, as Secretary Barlow and Engineer Goodsell vote for us right through. Martindale, Attorney-General, dined with us at Mr. ------- yesterday, and having been much worked upon by his brother-in-law, the day before, and by Mr. and Mrs. ---------, at dinner, came to me after dinner and said his views were "softening," and that he did hope that in some form or other, or under some design, I should have to do with the building of the Capitol."

LETTER, DATED NOV. 21, 1867.
"Pruyn has gone to Washington to take his seat in Congress, and Harris is all right and agreeable. Pruyn will be home in about two or three weeks. Meanwhile Latham holds us in check. I hope to see him ere long disappear down a trap-door amid blue and red flame, and accompanied by sulphurous stenches, like Hirizog in the 'Black Crook'---his equal in plotting against innocence and virtue."

That last was a hard hit at Latham, who doubtless was but illy satisfied with things as they existed. But a letter dated March 4, 1868, from Mr. Gilman, (as follows,) seems to explain, and why and wherefore:

"I think our income this year, if we can kill off that damned Latham, at Albany (and I think we can this session) will amount to $60,000, in which case," &c., &c.

The speaker closed here, and then Messrs. Latham and Werner followed on the same side, after which the Committee adjourned until another day, (not named,) when the other side will be heard.
April 1, 1868, Albany Evening Journal, Page 3, Column 1,
THE NEW CAPITOL INVESTIGATION.— Another and the last meeting of the Senate Committee, to investigate the charges of Capitol Commissioner Latham, was held at the Senate Chamber yesterday afternoon. Mr. O. B. Latham, the complaining Commissioner, made additional explanations in regard to his estimates as to the cost of the new Capitol, according to the Schulze & Schoen plan, but said nothing about the large number of horses, oxen, wagons, &c., which he proposed to have the State purchase to be used in its construction, as contemplated in his estimates.

Mr. Schulze, architect, of the firm of Schulze & Schoen, New York, was examined, on behalf of Mr. Latham, and pointed out what he considered defects in the plan adopted, and the superiority of his own plan. He admitted that he now estimated that his plan would cost over $6,000,000, with ornamentation, and acknowledged that he had furnished Mr. Harris, before a plan was adopted, with an estimate that it could be erected for $4,000,000. He explained, however, that it could be built for that sum only with a sub-cellar or interior ornamentation, although the exterior would remain as appears it that plan. He further admitted that the building would be as good, for all practical purposes, without ornament as with it. The ornaments he referred to were statuary, ornamented doors, &c. Mr. Schulze was examined as to his experience as an architect and builder. He stated that he had built a large church in Vienna, and was superintendent of important public works in that country. Upon further examination, it appears that he was then twenty years of age, and that, instead of being superintendent, he acted in in a subordinate capacity. He had built but one or two public buildings in this country.

Mr. Woolett of the firm of Woolett & Ogden was examined as to the best kind of foundation, expressing a preference for concrete rather than piling.

Mr. Harris stated that this matter was still an open question, not having been definitely decided.

Mr. Smith read affidavits of two parties relative to Mr. Bridgeford's connection with the Hudson River Bridge; one of them being an affidavit of Mr. Bridgeford's bookkeeper, in reference to the burning of an account book previously referred to by Mr. Chatfield in his argument, the affidavit states that the book referred to contained merely incomplete memoranda; that the deponent drew off another at his own instance, which was more full and accurate, though neither of them was complete, as the vouchers for expenditures could only be obtained by calling upon the various parties of whom purchases had been made; that Mr. Bridgeford desired the Directors of the bridge company to adopt this course; and that the deponent himself destroyed the account book first referred to, not thinking it of any importance and without the knowledge or consent of Mr. Bridgeford. An affidavit of Mr. Chichester, who sold piles to the company, was also read, showing that the most difficult work in the construction of the bridge was performed by Mr. Bridgeford, and that Mr. Probasco, resident engineer, said that the company would have saved money had they retained Mr. B.

This concluded the evidence, the counsel for Mr. Bridgeford not declaring it necessary to produce any witnesses to refute the slanderous imputations made against him by his opponents. Thus ends, quickest so far as the proof is concerned, the complaint against the Capitol Commissioners, a complete failure on the part of the complainant, Mr. Latham, and a complete triumph on the part of his fellow Commissioners, and Mr. Bridgeford. According to Mr. Latham's own evidence his plans and estimates are crude, imperfect, and not to be relied upon. The plan adopted by the Commissioners, according to law, can be built for $4,000,000, and responsible builders offer to do it for that.

August 5, 1868, Rochester Union Advertiser, Page 3, Column 2,
Is It There You Are, Old Truepenny?
The Republican State Committee have put forth an address to the brethren, which reads very much like the dying speech of a culprit upon the gallows, undergoing those sensations so peculiar to the last moments before hanging. The address is signed Hamilton. Harris, chairman. It seems to us that we have heard of Hamilton Harris before. If we remember aright, Hamilton Harris is the notorious individual who negotiated the bribery by which the Republican party purchased, prostituted and ruined Theophilus C. Callicott in the Assembly of 1863. Unless we are greatly mistaken, it was that immaculate Hamilton Harris, brother of Ex-U.S. Senator Ira Harris, who figured thus in the draft for the twelve hundred pieces of silver paid Callicott as his price by the Republican State committee. Whether this model political economist, Ham. Harris, negotiated the purchase of John A. Griswold, we are not advised. But it is certainly appropriate that he should put forth an address on behalf of Grlswold as the Radical candidate for Governor. Griswold, however, would do well to look out for Harris. His code of moral ethics is not the safest to follow, and the fate Callicott is before his eyes.

April 10, 1869, The Evening Telegram, Page 1, Column 2,
Affairs in Albany.
A memorial and accompaning documents was presented to the Assembly by O. B. Latham, one of the Capitol Commissioners, and with it a joint resolution that a committee be appointed from the Assembly, and Senate to inquire into and examine the different plans presented.

April 12, 1869, New York Tribune,
Mr. HIXON presented the memorial of O. B. Latham, one of the New Capitol Commissioners, in reference to the proposed plan for a new Capitol, with criticisms on the same. Mr. HIXON offered a resolution for a Joint Committee to examine the plans and report to the Legislature what plan should be adopted, with power to send for persons and papers. Tabled after debate.

April 13, 1869, New-York Tribune,
The SPEAKER presented the report of the new Capitol Commissioners, in response to the resolution. The amount of money drawn from the State Treasury is $195,000; over $17,000 were received from the sale of the old building, and the amount expended up to the 19th of March is $136,000; they have accepted the plan adopted by the former Board, and approved by the Commissioners of the Land Office, the Governor reserving the right to modify the same. The architect is now engaged in preparing modifications of said plan, which, it is believed, will fully meet the wishes of the Commissioners and the public. No additional legislation is required, save the necessary appropriations from time to time to enable them to complete the work in the most economical and expeditious manner. A bill of items accompanies the report, which is signed by Hamilton Harris, Chairman, and James Terwilliger, Secretary of the Board. Adjourned

April 20, 1869, New-York Tribune,
There seems to be "trouble ahead" in the Board of New Capitol Commissioners. The other day the Commissioners were directed by resolution of the Assembly to report every thing done by them thus far within a given period. Nothing having been heard from them, a resolution was adopted yesterday, on motion of Mr. Hixon of Yates, to suspend all work on the new edifice — which is "very much" en embryo at this date—until the desired report should be forthcoming. To-day Mr. Hixon presented a lengthy memorial from O. B. Latham, one of the eight Commissioners, who is not at all satisfied with the plans of building adopted by his fellow-Commissioners.This plan he criticises severely, and asks the Legislature to interfere in the premises. He claims to be the only practical builder in the Board. It is the fight of last Winter renewed. The Hon. Hamilton Harris is President of the Board. A joint resolution was offered this morning by Mr. Hixon, for a joint committee to investigate the various plans and specifications which have been proposed, and report to the Legislature which, in their judgment, are preferable. The proposition is, of course, to override the action of the Board. The resolution giving rise to debate lies on the table.

May 5, 1869, New-York Tribune, Page 1, Column 4,
When the Supply bill was in Committee of the Whole of the Senate to-day, an amendment appropriating $125,000 toward the new Capitol was carried.
The Supply bill was amended on motion of Mr. BANKS giving $250,000 toward the erection of a new Capitol. No other important amendments were made except those reported in the Senate Committee. The bill was then ordered to a third reading. Adjourned.
Mr. SELKREG submitted the report of the Ways and Means Committee, recommending concurrence in the Senate's amendments to the General Appropriation bill. Among the amendments is an appropriation of $275,000 to pay for lands taken for the purposes of the new Capitol.

July 10, 1869, New York Times, THE NEW CAPITOL; Laying of the First Foundation--Stone--?? Remarks of Hon. John V. L. Pruyn.
The first foundation-stone of the new Capitol was laid yesterday morning at 8 o'clock. Among those present on the occasion were Governor Hoffman, Capitol Commissioners Pruyn and Rice, Engineers McAlpine and Sweet, Fuller and Laver, Architects, and Superintendent Bridgeford. The stone was a massive limestone from the quarries on the shore of Lake Champlain. It was laid on the concrete, which is the first ingredient of the foundation, and which forms a solid rock of several feet in thickness over the entire surface to be covered by the new structure.

Upon laying the stone, Hon. John V. L. Pruyn, one of the Capitol Commissioners, made the following remarks:

"The occasion which has brought us together marks an important event in the history of our State. The Legislature has authorized the erection on this site of a new Capitol, for the accommodation of the Executive, the Legislative and the Judicial Departments of the Government, the arrangement of which shall be commensurate with the wants of our great Commonwealth, and mark its power and prosperity. The Commissioners appointed by law will, at the proper time, make arrangements for laying the corner stone of the building with ceremonies appropriate to an occasion of such interest. The thought which the subject calls out will no doubt then find full expression. This is not the time to give utterance to them. Meanwhile the work will go on, and it has now reached that condition when the heavy masonry is to be commenced. Under these circumstances, and in behalf of the Board of Commissioners, I have been requested to lay, as I now do, in their name, this the first foundation stone of the new Capitol of the State of New-York. Here may purity and integrity of purpose always mark the action of Executive power. Here may justice, the attribute of Diety, be inflexibly administered, and may Almighty God bless the State and prosper the undertaking."

The work of laying the masonry will now be proceeded with as rapidly as possible. The material is arriving in good order and in large quantities, and before the Summer closes the foundation walls will show a marked progress in the prosecution of an enterprise in which all the people have an interest. 

October 9, 1869, Harper's Weekly, Wood engraving after a photograph by E. S. M. Haines, of The new state capitol at Albany.

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